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Old February 4th, 2013, 12:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Built myself a Fret Bender

So I know there have been threads\builds for these before, but figured I'd throw mine in the ring with a new thread. I believe this is based on the Terry Downs version (not sure since that thread isn't active any more) but from what I can tell its using the same parts\idea, with a few modifications of my own after seeing a few other builds here and on another guitar building forum. Basically using 2 sliding door wheels for the bottom, and a few different sized washers for the top wheel.

So here it is:


I feed the fretwire in by hand, and have the top wheel locked so it doesn't rotate. The bottom two wheels do, and it slides through like butter. The reason I locked the top wheel is that I found there was a bit too much play in the washers, so it would either splay open and the wire would slip inside or they would become slightly offset enough to twist the wire. But after locking it tight, I have no problems with it and actually think having the top wheel so rigid helps keep the wire nice and straight.


A little bit of trial and error to get a perfect 12" radius, marked so that if I need to get a smaller radius, I can progressively work my way up, marking it along the way. Only wasted one 2ft length of wire before getting it where I needed.


Blew through the rest of my wire and got a nice consistent bend in a matter of seconds.


Cheers and thanks again to everyone who contributes the ideas that make it possible for people like me to tackle things from the simple to complicated! I'm pretty sure I owe a few people thanks personally for the idea's that led to my bender....(Terry, Jack Wells, Nick JD, etc)

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Old February 4th, 2013, 12:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good job! Thanks for sharing.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 12:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice design.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 12:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Glad you didn't get wired up and fret all about it.

Nice job. One day I'll build one like that too...as soon as I can dig my work desk out from under the pile of junk around it. Seems the bigger the house, the more junk we have.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 09:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Where is that radius gauge from? Looks cool, and cheap!
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Old February 4th, 2013, 09:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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^ thats a Stewmac FPI. Here
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Old February 4th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whodatpat View Post
Where is that radius gauge from? Looks cool, and cheap!
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^ thats a Stewmac FPI. Here
Which means its not exactly cheap.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 09:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Don't bring me into it.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 09:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That's using your head for more than a hat rack...Really though, nice design and thanks for sharing.

As for that 2 ft. wasted piece you should be able to fix that easily by re-bending after an adjustment. You could also double-nut your washer roller to the point where it spins freely with little to no play.


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LOL.. Nice bender! I built one on my birthday a few years ago..
Another good design. Thanks for sharing also.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 10:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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LOL.. Nice bender! I built one on my birthday a few years ago..





It worked OK, but my Stewmac bender works better. Fun project, anyway. LOL
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Old February 4th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's mine , T.Downs design , works great

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Old February 4th, 2013, 11:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Here's mine , T.Downs design , works great

Very nice! Had considered going the wood route but would have had to buy a hole saw. So luckily I found the washer threads, ended up saving me a few bucks.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 11:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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LOL.. Nice bender! I built one on my birthday a few years ago..




It worked OK, but my Stewmac bender works better. Fun project, anyway. LOL
Haha, that is awesome!!
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Old February 4th, 2013, 11:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That's using your head for more than a hat rack...Really though, nice design and thanks for sharing.

As for that 2 ft. wasted piece you should be able to fix that easily by re-bending after an adjustment. You could also double-nut your washer roller to the point where it spins freely with little to no play.



Another good design. Thanks for sharing also.
Thanks Scrapperz, can't take too much credit for the design, just the execution with some slight mods. But the section of wire is gone for good I'm afraid, ended up twisted and became my sacrificial guini pig. Well worth it though.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 11:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Where is that radius gauge from? Looks cool, and cheap!
Yup from Stewmac, with the fret press set to use with my drill press. Very handy!
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Old February 4th, 2013, 04:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Glad you didn't get wired up and fret all about it.

Nice job. One day I'll build one like that too...as soon as I can dig my work desk out from under the pile of junk around it. Seems the bigger the house, the more junk we have.
Haha, yeah you should see my work "shop". ;)
But the beauty of this is that it literally took me about 10 minutes to assemble. Maybe another 15 for adjustments but overall super easy.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 02:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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They look super easy (not to sound full of myself) but I find it easier to buy pre-radiused wire. I guess if you build a lot of guitars and buy in bulk you can't buy pre-radiused.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 09:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing. I'll make one too.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 12:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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They look super easy (not to sound full of myself) but I find it easier to buy pre-radiused wire. I guess if you build a lot of guitars and buy in bulk you can't buy pre-radiused.
Easier sure, part of the fun (for me at least) is building jigs etc. Working on my router sled now to plane my body blank. One of these days I might actually start building my guitar ;^]
Beyond that it does allow more flexibility for multiple builds as you mentioned...
Cheers!
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